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In Defence of the "Peasant"

John R. Owen*

It is commonplace to begin an argument by first outlining a particular problem. This

article then must be something of a nuisance since it begins, not with a problem, but
with an ambiguity. To illustrate this ambiguity consider the following snippet from
anthropologist Raymond Firth:
Deflnition of the term "peasant" has been the subject of some argument in recent years. It can
be held that this is not a critical term, capable of much theoretical handling, but it is a broad
descriptive term of an empirical kind, suitable only for demarcating rough boundaries in
categorisation...Oefinition of a system as "peasant" implies that it has its own particular local
character, partly because of intricate community interrelationships and partly because, in eco-
nomic and social affairs, it both contributes to and draws upon a town in trade, cultural ex-
change and general ideology.'
What precisely here might be taken up for ambiguous interpretation? Firstly, there
is the indication of a broad descriptive term. Though Firth qualifies this by stating that
it is of the empirical kind, a qualification is not always sufficient to deter from further
conceptual manipulation and revision. Secondly, the particular local character could be
taken to infer an individualisation of the term "peasant," not only that peasant systems
are to be individually defined, but that individual peasants are defined according to
their own individual character, reducing the notion from social construction to an analysis
of peasant selves. Firth also positions the "peasant" as being at a juncture point of
"ideology," commercial life, and a vessel of "cultural exchange." Though these junc-
ture points attest to the breadth and descriptive nature of the peasant category (at least
for Firth), they are also themselves the subject or core areas of scholarship, ie, political
science, economics and cultural studies. It must be conceded that "ideology," com-
merce and "culture" are themselves critical concepts, each in their own right the very
backbone of entire disciplines.
"What then," one might ask, "is the problem?" Firstly, let me spell out precisely
what the problem is not. It is not the purpose of this article to reinvent the "peasant."
Nor is its express interest to romantically secure for the "peasant" a secure haven in
history. Rather, the task here is to examine a select sample of literature from two eras of
scholarship in order to highlight key points of consensus and contention. This allows a
clear demonstration of different handlings of the concept "peasant;" and some indica-
tion as to why it has fallen out of current usage and debate.
As is plain to the observer, recent trends in cultural studies and post-modernism

'School of Social Science. University of New England. Armidale, Australia

Joumal of Contemporary A.iia. Vol. 35 No. 3(2005)
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have given direction on the value of dismantling binaries and essentialisms. Post-mod-
ern paradigms demonstrate the constraints of certain strains within modernist thought,
in particular the effects of conceptual binaries such as self-other, man-woman, west-
east on theoretical advancement and political representation. This knowledge is to be
credited with facilitating a shift in analysis away from universal concepts towards a
more concerted study of the local. For example, we have learnt that gender is not set in
moulds of male or female, but rather is expressed in a kaleidoscope of sexualities, that
it is fluid and is and ought not contained by binary oppositions. Similarly, identity
may not be naturally attributed to citizenship, race, religion or class alone. However
when one casts light, one inevitably casts shadows and certainly these revelations have
not come without their consequences. I argue that there is much knowledge, and com-
mon sense, to be gained from an unlocking of the modernist vaults, particularly with
notions of the "peasantry."
Thus three points are made. The first is that the term "peasant" has been dismissed
prematurely. It is argued here that this can be attributed to the construction of global
capital as a fait accompli; this is further aided by the perceived contraction of the "struc-
tural" as a valuable area of analysis, thus leaving little room for economic heterogene-
ity at this level, and a subsequent misplacing of the "peasant." The second point sug-
gests that globalised capital is not an epochal or all-consuming event; and as such, the
focus should be on the changing manner in which "peasants" come into contact with
different market types and modernising forces. Thirdly, that if "peasant" economies can
be demonstrated to be at various points of articulation, then a method of analysis needs
be employed to discern the varied aspects of both capitalist and non-essential capitalist
(i.e. peasant) systems.^
Clearly, I do not offer a definition from the onset; this is intentional. What is of-
fered in its place is a charting of the term "peasant" against different periods of anthro-
pological thought. This is to guard against pre-empting a single usage or meaning. Spe-
cific definitions and usages are dealt with at a more intricate level, notably in the globalist
and post-modem (de)constructions; and lastly where a modernist perspective is offered
in a rebuttal of the two former approaches.
The Demise of the Peasant
From its zenith in the 197O's, the term "peasant" was widely invoked to centre concep-
tual frameworks integral to theorising "peasant" such as "peasant household," "moral
economy," "mode of production" and "peasant rebellion."^ Together these concepts
reflect the place, means and conditions of a "peasant" interface with its basic economic
unit "the household" and their relations with externalities such as markets and the state.
The mid-80's marks the decline of the "peasant," and sees the shift from contemporary
to "historical."" At this point we see the introduction of concepts such as "power,"
"proletariat," and essentially the "non -peasant" - and a concurrent rise in post-modern
discourse. The late 90s at last marks the total demise of the concept - as a concept in
use, notably with the rise of "globalisation," "consumption" and the considerable in-
crease in "power" as a measure of the essentially "non-peasant."
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Table 1: Utility of "Other" in Four Categories of Ethnographic and Anthropological Inquiry


Economic/Social Primitive (non- Primitive Peasant (mar- Polybian (non-
Category contemporary) (contemporary) ginal - contem- peasant)
Position in Time Past Past Contemporary Social Moments
1880-1910 WWI History 1950-60 1990 +
Conceptual Form Absolute Absolute Marginal/Relative Absolute
Self/Other Absolute Other Absolute Other Relative Other Deconstructed
Distinction Self/Other
Intemal Low Low Limited Limitless
Degree of None None Partial High
Town-Village Dependence/
Dependence Able to
Social Form Village/ Village/ Household Reticular
Community Community Networks
Power Relations Lineage Lineage Patron-Client Negotiable
Basis Subsistence Subsistence Subsistence/ Wage Labour
of production Wage Labour
Basic Village/Tribe Village/Tribe Household Individual
Economic Unit
Economic Focus Production Production Production Consumption
Labour Mobility Low Low Low / Seasona Free
Class Classless Classless Specific Any Class
Conceptual Isolated Colonial Development Globalisation
for Change
Potential for Low High High Low

Four distinct eras which have used "peasantry" in definitive ways are; historical
ethnography, classical ethnography, modernity and more recently the global or post-
modern era {see Table I). In the period of historical ethnography the concept "other"
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took on an essentially historical nature. The "other" being akin to the "primitive" was
based largely on secondary sources and was narrowly relegated by secondary analysis
as a relic of history. The lack of substantive fieldwork forced a depiction of the "other"
as isolated, from groups outside of their own, and thus, from the changes and develop-
ments in history. In many respects, the treatment of "other" was archaeological.' Clas-
sical ethnography displayed an equal concern for the "other." Unlike historical ethnog-
raphy, scholars of the classical period sought to understand their non-European coun-
terparts in an interactive environment by engaging with the "other" through fieldwork.
As a defining difference, classical ethnography sought the understandings of human
contemporaries, not simply of their civilisations, but the logic and dynamics within
them. Scholars of this era sought in earnest for clearer pictures of how the "other"
organised their lives, their relations and economies.'
The advent of development theory pushed the term "other" alorig the way. Theories
of social development moved the study of the "other" into the modern age, bringing the
primitive with it. Anthropology discovered the marginal "peasant," while economics
presented a new understanding for the seemingly "backwardness" of nations.' Modern
anthropology and economics merged, highlighting the social embeddedness of economic
systems, while recasting the primitive into a modern world under a new catch-cry
"peasantry."' Indeed the mergers did not end there. In recent times there has been an
infusion of culturalism and post modern theory in social anthropology, an accumulated
lineage that has materialised in extreme cultural relativism. I argue in the following
sections it is the field's inability to shed this epistemology that has lead to further re-
essentialisms and conceptual obscurities.
Much of the ambiguity contained in the notion "peasant" arises due to the histori-
cal significance of the concept, in particular its residence during large-scale theoretical
upheavals such as the modernist and dependency paradigms, and more recently the
transition between modernist and post-modernist thought. Underlying these schemas is
the evolutionist trajectory from peasant to proletariat, "other" to "self and "backward"
to "modem." While some of the positions throughout these eras are certainly sympa-
thetic to "peasantry," the portrayal of its hindrance to progress is consistent in their
review.' Outside of the exclusive development paradigm, the concept "peasant", above
all else symbolises the "edge" or margin of debates ranging between tradition-modem,
primitive-advanced, heterogeneity-homogeneity, divergence-convergence and more re-
cently anthropological modernism and post-modernism.
Current literature displays three major strands of thought. Firstly, the globalist "end
of the peasantry" argument suggests that globalisation is complete and unique; hence a
repeal of all modal opposition. The claim is that peasants have disappeared due to a
major historical and economic shift. Thus, peasant, agrarian, socialist and other sys-
tems are supplanted. Secondly, the traditional Structuralist model argument for retain-
ing structural analysis in peasaint studies. There are merits to this approach; hov/ever a
major criticism is that this model has not been able to shake off the rigid binary catego-
ries and.structural determinism that marked its dismissal some 20 years ago.'" The last
approach is exemplified in Kearney's (1996) work where he attempts to mediate the
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conception of "peasant" within the above globalisation and modernist discourse. This
approach makes the claim of a disappearing peasantry on more abstract and intellectual
terms. The following discussion will focus primarily on the first and third schools of
End of Peasantry
With the tearing down of the Berlin wall and the breaking up of the Soviet Union, it was
presumed that capitalism had spread everywhere. Before the dust had time to settle,
globalisation theorists had already positioned peasants and agrarian mode(s) of produc-
tion in the distant past. Proponents of this view reluctantly mention peasants, but eu-
phemistically as "poor farmers" who are caught in the process of becoming fully fledged
farmers or working poor. The working assumption from which peasants are being
conceptualised here is based on an evolutionary model whereby globalisation cancels
out all other alternative economic systems and is a testimony to the dominance of the
capitalist liberal economy. This trend is typified, in varying degrees, by the works of
Elson (1997) and Siriprachai (1996) on the end of peasantry in South East Asia.
Globalisation, the practice of free trade, linking economies, greater flows of capital
and labour power, is thematic in several areas of discussion on "peasantry." According
to Elson expanding national and intemational economies, state intervention, contract-
ing geographical space between rural and urban, and overpopulation has "transmogrified"
the peasant into a farmer, worker or citizen." Similarly, Siriprachai's work shows paths
of village transformation closely associated with those of Elson. Unlike Elson however,
Siriprachai is able to differentiate the degrees of capitalist expansion into rural areas.
He argues that farmers in Thailand can be divided into two basic categories "namely
those who have land in poorly endowed areas and those who have no land or very little
land and, therefore, have to rely on selling their labour on the market."'^
Both authors allude to a marked shift in rural-urban migration, and henceforth a
shift in class status, increased economic livelihood and subsequent freedoms of identity
politics lending to a radical break in rural social relations." Though in contrast,
Siriprachai notes that due to gaps in Thai government policy persons from particular
areas are unlikely to experience any upward social mobility as a result of this migration.
The implications from this account are two-fold. Firstly it demonstrates the role of
domestic governments (nation states) in interpreting movements of wealth and capital
in the world economy, and thus creates room for speculation regarding the impotence of
the state as economic regulators. Secondly, it demonstrates that analysis of rural-urban
movements require a more rigorous exploration, lending closer examination to the as-
sociation between urbanisation/westernisation and living standards.
These conclusions drawn by Siriprachai and Elson rest on the assumption that
globalisation has revolutionised capitalism, rather than a point in its ongoing techno-
logical expansion. A counter argument to this is that globalisation is not unprecedented;
rather it is misrepresented as unique and Unparalleled in world history.'"
Ironically, the issues raised in the globalisation camp also look at the same areas
that are evident in the literature on modernity, although couched differently in terms of
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colonialism and post-colonialism (world-systems theory). The end of peasantry argu-

ment rests on the mighty forces of globalisation in order to discount peasant mode(s) of
production. The weaknesses in their arguments lie in a simplistic acceptance of the
sweeping forces of globalisation. In other words, globalisation within the historical
development of capitalism is hardly unprecedented; rather as Sutcliffe and Glyn argue,
since its inception the process of capitalism has followed a cyclical pattern. It can be
expounded that globalisation has not indeed changed the face of capitalism in the cur-
rent epoch but promoted its expansion.
Schumpeter reminds us that capitalism is based on the formula that should it re-
main static and unchanged it would destabilise.'' This is confirmed by Heilbroner where
he argues that it is the very crux of capital that it must continue to expand, and in that
expansion fulfil its requirements for labour and circulation of necessary surplus value."
It is these conditions that predicate relations between capital and non/pre-capitalist forms.
An expansion into a non-capitalist form does not denote the end of the form, but rather
that a dual system emerges in which the capitalist and non-capitalist form become mu-
tually dependent and partially intertwined."
I argue that we ought to be clear in what we attribute to the word "globalisation,"
since it might be thought of as both a set of means, and as result of those means. The
prevalence of an all-consuming economic mechanism, "the globalisation" process, is
believed to have displaced and incorporated the economic activities of peasants, and
other possible forms. In short, a totalisation of the intemational economy - and its
component social relations. My position is that if the globalisation process (if it is in-
deed a process and not solely an end), is not an index of marked completion and totality,
then the term peasant ought to prevail, not only as a market for particular types of non-
capitalist social relations, but as a means for accounting for unevenness in the
"globalisation" process."
The argument that globalisation has consumed all alternative systems via the tri-
umph of international capitalism has had a powerful effect on how the "peasant," and
indeed the capitalist system, is conceptualised. To lead us into our discussion of the
"post-peasant," let us consider a brief statement by E. M Woods.
To propose a periodisation of epochal shitfs is lo say something about what is essential in
defining a social form like capitalism. Epochal shifts have to do with basic transformations in
some essential constitutive element of the system. In other words, how we periodise capital-
ism depends on how we define the system in the first place. The question then is this: what do
concepts like modernity and postmodemity tell us about the ways in which people who use
them understand capitalism?"

Non -Peasant Like - Post Peasant Polybian?

The prevalence of global technologies, trans-nationalism and a further rise in the domi-
nance of agribusiness have provided a mobilising force by way of stimulating consider-
able human movements, which has brought the concept "peasant" under scrutiny. In
response. Professor Michael Kearney has called for a reconceptualisation ofthe peas-
antry that dismantles binary oppositions such as primitive and modern.^" It is as Scott
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Cook writes "a trenchant call for a paradigm shift to address a new reality, a centreless
hyperspace comprised of socially unbounded transnational communities."^'
Kearney stands alone in his attempt to re-think the peasant category using post-
modern instruments of knowledge taking us from a broad analysis of global conditions
to a local conditioning of the concept, one that rests heavily on the tools of identity
politics. The response is to shed all prior conceptualisation of the "peasant" and to
proceed with a more chic and cosmopolitan model. What emerges is an ambiguous
type, neither "primitive" nor "modern" but entrenched in both and likewise situated
between proletarian, farmer and "other identities."" The ambiguity, we will see, is
quite different from what might be drawn from our opening reference to Firth.
While the schema of globalisation has certainly taken its toll on the "peasantry,"
post-modem discourse has perhaps had an even greater paralysing effect. The current
global conditions are cited by Keamey as changing the formation of "peasant-like iden-
tities" and the theoretical framework in which they are analysed. Kearney lists the main
global changes as: the deepening crisis of Development, a realignment of global politi-
cal tensions between the East-West and North-South polarity, an ongoing decay of rural
versus urban social and spatial distinctions which he views as a symptom of further
trans-nationalism and globalisation of communities, economies and identities.^' How-
ever, Keamey does not work within the social and spatial distinctions of this movement
but instead hands his subject matter over to the post-modem world for the dominant
paradigm simply to run its natural course. Thus, a great deal of his reconceptualisation
concentrates on "intemal differentiation" in accounting for the demise ofthe "peasant"
Clearly Keamey is attempting to tap into the disruptive content within the peasant
theoretical form or the conflict inherent in the term's marginality. The peasant has a
descriptive classificatory potential that threatens the absolute distinction between "Self
and "other" as structured in classical ethnography. For him, the intention is for the
ambiguity of peasants to have the potential to erode dualist categories and hence a
refusal to be contained within simple essentialisms.^^ Keamey criticises modern an-
thropology for containing this disruptive potential ofthe peasant by essentialising it as
a categorically distinct "Other." In turn, making the peasant an absolute category within
a dualistic logic of distinction, hence neutralising the danger inherent in the peasant's
In Keamey's 1984 "World View" he acknowledges the structural pressures on peas-
ant livelihood, political marginalisation, and shortages of fertile land due to changed
state policies. These structural elements are absent in his 1996 Reconceptualising the
Peasantry: Anthropology in Global Perspective. However, there are similar elements in
both books to suggest a lineal development of Keamey's concept of Self/Other.
Firstly, Keamey characterises western society as being individualistic, which is a
basic feature of the self. Kearney argues in "World View" that "peasant individualism"
has been rising as a result of increasing marginalisation. In effect natural resources
within peasant communities are scarce leading peasants to adopt an individualistic out-
Peasant 375

look as a survival strategy. Kearney describes village life as thus:

Life in an economy of scarcity is precarious. One is in constant danger of falling behind.. to
enter into relationships is to let down defences...the best strategy is to limit involvement to
what is essential.-'
Kearney also notes that this individualism impacts on village life by restructuring
it to resemble "seamless networks of individuals" rather than characterised by co-ops
or social kin groupings.^" This notion of peasant individualism resurfaces in Kearney's
1996 Reconceptualising the Peasantry under the concept of "person" which replaced
the individual. He writes:
that person' is the term of choice to carry forward the project of overcoming the dualism
inherent in the "individual" of modem thought.. .For person is self.. .the petson as conceived
herein is a seemless being."
The core dilemma arises when Kearney advocates for the category of non-peasant-
post-peasant-like poiybian as a more accurate and useful category. I am at odds to
define this creature, since I do not believe that it exists. Furthermore, I do not feel
obliged to offer a definition where its creator has himself failed to do so. The following
commentary will then address the characteristics of this conceptual misnomer given a
review of its definition has been put out of the question.
In depicting the post-peasant-like poiybian, Kearney contrasts this to the modem
Self, which he argues is unified and two-dimensional. Kearney argues that theories of
containment are at work within peasant studies and serve to legitimise domination,
political and economic suppression.^' This is thematic of other post-modem literature
which also aims to "deconstruct" binary categories such as male-female, mind-body,
developed-underdeveloped world, urban-rural, self-other, peasant-worker and so on.
Deconstructionists argue thatdualistic categories reinforce social difference, which per-
mits cultural hegemony to persist through discourses of power." Keamey argues then
against clear cut/ absolute categories like "peasant," as it is inadvertently a tool of con-
tainment. This is a clear attempt by Kearney to collapse binary oppositions of periphery
and centre by replacing marginality with the notion of "empowerment."
Kearney puts forth a model of a new peasant social type, the "post-peasant-like-
polybian," arguing that modern anthropology is unable to account for the transition that
peasants are seen to be going through, individually and collectively. He argues that
within the post modern world, peasants are internally differentiated, with multiple and
complex identities. Transnational corporations, as abstracted by Kearney, are sites for
expression of individual identities.'" The exploitative structure of transnational compa-
nies has been overlooked, rather they are now non-geographic spaces for the seasonal
migrant worker, "poiybian" or working poor to act out a facet of their many identities.
This is one of the many arenas for post-peasant polybians to articulate their identities,
another is at point of consumption of popular culture. According to Keamey, Mexican
peasants are directly involved in a global economy of capitalist movements, wage
labour and are exposed to mass/popular culture, westem symbols, signs, values and
networks formed during their migration. All these factors contribute to the internal dif-
ferentiation of polybians." Furthermore, this ambiguous category of "poiybian" (made
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up of complex multi-form identities) coupled with seasonal migration for income de-
rived from wage labour allows polybians to transcend or escape the laws/policies of
the nation state that insists on containing illegal and ambiguous social types. Polybians
escape containment, according to Keamey, by participating in the informal economy,
by travelling without appropriate identification, and crossing international borders to
work without state authority.
This escapism is thematic in Keamey's work, particularly where he himself at-
tempts to reduce the peasant question down to an appropriation of cultural symbols and
consumption patterns. He writes:
The transnational indigenous person, especially the young, is typically attired in a pastiche of
apparel.. .migrant workers from Oaxaca shopping for clothing at swap meets in California to
compliment apparel acquired from other sources throughout their networks. They thus dress
themselves with a hodgepodge of new and cast-off objects - jersey's from rock concerts,
olive-drab camouflage combat fatigues, athletic team jackets and all sorts of shirts, hats em-
blazoned with corporate logos and brand names of beers."
Edelman argues that the emphasis on "othemess" in postmodern theory and prac-
tice indicates a reaction to rising inequalities, economic insecurity and competition.
Kearney's attempt to reconstruct an open ended category, against these conditions, can
be understood within the following quote from David Harvey:
... the more unified the space, the more important the qualities of fragmentations become for
the social identity and action. The free flow of capital across the surface of the globe places
strong emphasis upon the particular qualities of the space to which capital might be attracted.
The shrinkage of space that bring diverse communities across the globe into competition with
each other implies localised competitive strategies and a heightened sense of awareness of
what makes a place special.. .this kind ofreactionlooks much more strongly to the identifica-
tion of place, the building and signalling its unique qualities in an increasingly fragmented
world ."
By reducing the significance of the fact that peasants have existed at the margins of
the capitalist system, Keamey indirectly argues that under globalisation peasants be-
come mainstream consumers defmed by purchasing power. The deconstruction of the
classificatory category "peasant" is problematic as it designates the differentiation pro-
cess at the level of individual choice and hence removes the element of the social.
The language of empowerment is pervasive in Keamey's text. However as Edleman
argues "the anthropology of globalisation and transnationalism has emphasised migra-
tion, "deterritorialisation," " and "cultural hybridity" rather than new forms of suprana-
tional politics."'* While the peasant concept may be "intellectually awkward" as Shanin
has argued, it is also argued by Shanin that the concept is likewise at times intellectually
straight forward - the idea that peasants are not only "an analytic construct, not only
bearers of characteristics.. .but a social group which exists in the collective conscious-
ness and politics deeds of its members."" The terms "post-peasant" and "peasant
polybian" are in this regard counterproductive to the notion of "empowerment" since
they undermine the very terms of identity that give peasant political movements their
defining character and legitimacy. To classify peasants as "post-peasant" and their am-
bitions of equitable development as "post-development" is to prefigure closure on po-
litical and advocacy activities that "peasants" themselves have identified as struggling
Peusanl 377

If we follow Kearney down this path what we are seeing is a shift of focus from the
peasantry as an economically/politically marginalised group to peasantness as a sym-
bol of "cultural empowerment" through the actions and decisions of autonomous agents.
Brass argues that this re-essentialises the peasantry,"' a view also held by Djurfeldt,
who criticises Kearney for chasing his own tail- "From peasant to polybian! Does it not
sound particularly evolutionist?" and;
He (Kearney) is right in criticizing a number of leading scholars and influential traditions for
operating with essentialist concepts. However...he is led into new essentialisms in principle
claiming that peasants are...on the verge of becoming essentially non-peasants!"
In a similar criticism, Otero writes that, "Kearney does not want to cling to previ-
ous assumptions, and in fact, he tries to debunk them! But in so doing, he creates new
assumptions that may not be substantiated by a broader examination of rural Mexican
reality."^* This raises a significant point of concern. According to Otero, Kearney's ar-
gument rests heavily on the experiences of rural areas with indigenous people. Citing
the work of de Janvry et al, Otero poses the problem that "less than 15% of Mexico's
rural population is now indigenous."" If Kearney's argument, regarding the necessity
of reconceptualising the peasantry in global terms is based on an argument that
cannot even be substantiated beyond its immediate context, how then can the argument
be extended to the "peasantry" in total?
Perhaps Kearney's agenda would be clearer to us if we paused to consider the
guiding premise of his text. Kearney makes it clear at the beginning of his book
Reconceputalising the Peasantry that its premise is based on exploring the disintegration
of the category "peasant" as a result of the "advanced disappearance of peoples' who fit
its criteria of "peasant.'"" He argues that there are older generations that once fit the
peasant category, but are now retired to watering vegetable gardens. His argument is
that though peasant communities appear in a "synchronic" present, their immediate
gaze was directed decidedly at the past. Further, that although these representations of
primitives are progressive in identifying distinct communities, their structuring is still
deeply dualist in that the communities are portrayed as bounded and virtually without
contact with the modem world.'" This is a fair assessment except that in the case of the
peasant the dualism represented the nature of a combined or articulated set of economic
relations. As such the nature of each respective "dualism" was quite distinct from the
These points about dualisms, identity and empowerment are significant for our
discussion regarding peasants as it situates the current peasant debate within the present
theoretical framework of postmodernism; with a definite emphasis on hyper-individu-
ality, consumption, image and representation and a preference for textual analysis over
social analysis. It is important to view Kearney's text from a broader theoretical per-
spective as he contributes to and is informed by the historical development of conver-
gence and divergence in anthropological debate. According to Tom Brass the post-modern
reaffirmation of peasant essentialism thus subscribes to an extreme form of relativism
that "de-objectifies" existence,"^ that is, all knowledge about the latter is positioned as
378 JCA 35:3

subjective and hence has equal relevance.*'

Within this discourse, rural poverty accordingly ceases to be a product of capitalist
or economic inequality. In the context of underdevelopment, the persistence of an inter-
changeable non-essential peasantry serves to reify social relations and masks the un-
evenness of capitalist expansion, a major loss against what might be gained in terms of
cultural reification. This is problematic for post-modernism as such relativity not only
presents aspects of capitalism as unproblematic but also gives legitimacy to exactly
those elements (i.e. essentialism of ethnic identity) that post-modernism attempt to
Lindholm notes with regard to agency, that post modem discourse is still not re-
moved from the troubles of classical inclination to assert dualisms as explanations for
social behaviour. To pursue the "self as an object of intemal formation, self regulating,
totally sufficient and of no auxiliary reflection is to mount a hierarchy of one "self over
other "selves." Lindholm likens the "giddy whirl" of post-modemism with Hegel's Law
of the Heart, as the starting point for the discourses "impulsive" speculation, it's "faith"
in "imagination" and its "favour" in "self congratulation.^' Indeed the closer one
familiarises themselves with the literature, the harder it becomes to refute a diagnosis of
anything less than "epistemological hypochondria."^
Terry Eagleton too, finds himself at odds with the post-modem tradition. Eagleton
sets his task to unravelling the web of confusion laid down by this paradigm, his analy-
sis directed at establishing an understanding of its theoretical bounds and perceived
historical origin. This is in many ways troubling for the inquirer, for the attempt is met
ipso facto in the manner of a non-question. History under post-modemism loses it func-
tion, its drive and its motion; it is according to Eagleton "straight-jacketed."*' History
is thus not only disposed of its motion, it is hence deprived of its character. As Eagleton
points out, history is dispossessed of its ability to shape context, and is made benign, as
are all things, by the presupposition that "the world is no way in particular."*" This of
course is indicative of a self-consuming loop. For post-modemists do not object to
"history" per se, but to "History" as preceding/prefiguring context, social form or nar-
rative. And while individuals are assumed to have authority over the "shape" and "con-
text" of their own lives, they too have subtle persuasion over the "shape" and "context"
of the lives of others. The process of individual determinism gives agency to the indi-
vidual not only in the realm of their own existence, but through negotiation and subver-
sion, the ability to impact on other human beings occupying the same place or time. The
objection to determinism, structural or historical, in assuming form or boundary, must
then be extended to the individual whose own choice and decisions assist in the mark-
ing out of a definitive experience. A dilemma then arises. An event becomes particular
to the choice or expectation of one or more persons. This is visible in Keamey's depic-
tion of non-peasant-peasant-like-polybian's experiences of transmigration, where the
contraction of multiple identities result from the individual action and decisions of
polybians, and also their limitations, are implied to be a symptom of choice and indi-
vidual resourcefulness, or a lack of.
Peasant 379

Both giobalist and post-modern frameworks are dangerous not because of the an-
swers they proposes, but for the questions they prohibit. The removal of the concept
"peasant" has significant theoretical consequences, least of which is diminished capac-
ity to critically assess unevenness in the development process. Without such a concept
it is quite possible that some of this unevenness maybe prematurely smoothed-over, at
least theoretically.
The Enduring Peasant?
At this point some of us (at least) might feel some sense of discontent or despondency.
On one hand there is the imploding of the category peasant under global pressures; and
on the other we have seen the scattering of the category peasant with the introduction of
individual voluntarism. The question is thus a matter of reintroducing a localised con-
cept of peasantry whilst acknowledging the extent of changing capitalist relations in
places of articulation.
My proposed solution appears through an articulation perspective, where the im-
pacts of globalisation and intemational capital are recognized in their relative forms
and effects. This approach stands against a totalising incorporation of peasantry by
capital, asserting an ongoing transformation of peasant economies through formalised
and partial contact within the "structural framework" of the "capitalist mode of produc-
tion,"** and the so called "free-market."
By the term "articulation" I am referring specifically to a dialectical proposition
where two economic modes exist within one social form. "^ In such a form, economic
modes are not measured in their respective totalities, but regarded by the degree and
nature of their contact with the alternative mode. Consider the following example.
Village X has traditionally existed as a main producer of agricultural commodities within
Region Y. Region Y is a laiger centre and draws seasonal labour -both agricultural and non-
agricultural from a number of surrounding villages, such as and including Village X. Re-
gion Y operates a sizeable agricultural commodity market, mainly for the purposes of export-
ing primary produce to larger centres. Historically, Region Y like other surrounding Re-
gions has acted as a commercial and political intermediator between larger centres and
villages. Members of Village X commonly work as agricultural labours, either with kin or for
wealthier landholders within the village, as there is an estuary nearby others also Tish. At such
times village members will derive either an income of cash or of goods, or both. During less
intensive times, members will often journey into Region Y for wage labour, though often
poorly paid. As producers of agricultural goods and seasonal wage labourers, Members of
Village X have both a direct and indirect relationship with the "free-market."
I have designed this example to demonstrate the basis on which the articulation
principle exists. In this example we get a sense that the members of village X are not
removed from the market or larger centres, but rather engage with them as conditions
arise, favourable or otherwise. A totalising view is not sufficient since it cannot ad-
equately explain the movement of village members between different forms of employ-
ment, its economic relations, or the diversity of contacts within the village form. This is
true of both a totalising "peasant" view and the "capitalistic" view. Where the articula-
tion perspective comes to life is in the acknowledgement of two modes existing side by
side, and its ability to conceive of two modes as both concrete in themselves and partial
380 JCA 35:3

in their mutual points of contact as opposed to a zero-sum style analysis that presents
itself in conventional explanations. In addition it is responsive to change, and is strictly
anti-homeostatic, given its core focus is on the nature of the contact between the two
existent modes. This approach, though derived from the vaults of Marxism is in some
ways counter-ideological since it does not promote the complete existence of one form
or the other, but rather promotes a rigorous intellectual understanding, not sidelined by
the myths of the market mechanism, nor of romantic peasant idealisms. In addition,
this can only be conceived in a modernist format, and ifv^c are to abandon post-modern
concepts of peasant hybridity, in addition to totalistic positions that mount modal hier-
archies and disconnected dualisms. While hybridity argues a duplicity of origins, such
as in our example of Village X and Region Y, its level of analysis is inadequate since it
is largely individual and overtly descriptive.
This is illustrated by Deborah Sick in her analysis of peasafit communities in
Perez Zeledon in Costa Rica.
In today's...changing national and global economies farming households...are feeling the
multiple pressures of mono crop export economy, increasing population density, and relative
geographical isolation. Coffee production continue to dominate the local economy, but some
are being forced to look elsewhere for their livelihoods. Farmers...have constructed their
strategies for survival and mobility to contend with intemational conditions and the internal
dynamics of the household. Yet, the choices available to them, in large part, have been shaped
by state policies mediating between the global and the local."
Another, and quite different, account by Gavin Kitching also confirms the example,
although he may not wish to endorse it. His study examines in part the livelihoods of
Russian peasants working agricultural collectives and on private plots of land. His study
reveals that while selling collective produce at markets may and can be profitable, there
is a fine line between profit and loss, with the margin heavily dependant on climate,
season, regional, national and global demands, and in turn prices, wage levels, cost of
chemicals, number of animals and the quality of these stocks. What is interesting about
Kitching's study is that usually peasants would get one season of good yield, the rest of
the year they would struggle on household substance production, the surplus from a
good harvest be reinvested in the raw materials of production or household durables as
direct household consumption." It is interesting because under Kearney and Elson, the
peasant mode is nearly completely eroded. Summing up the predicament for Russian
peasants, Kitching writes that:
...most agricultural "worker peasants" on the ground in Russia...have been made to [carry]
the "double load" of collective and private work [which] continues to make massive demands
on the physical strength of men and women. And his double load is more than ever unavoid-
able in so far as real wages are lower than the mid 196O's, and the private plot thus more vital
to household and family survival than it has [ever] been..."
In the above cases, globalisation is not viewed as an all encompassing system, but
illustrates the inter-relationship between the international market, national and regional
economies. More importantly, it highlights how globalisation has intensified the depen-
dency of towns on the rural sector. Firstly, land scarcity has made land ownership and
subsistence production precarious, wage labour provides supplementary household in-
come for poorer peasants but this is also subject to international and national economic
Peasant 381

policies. Thus, peasants living in a global economy may be presented with choices,
however superficial; but still remain where they had been before, on the periphery.
Alavi subscribes to this method, but only in part since he holds that modal repro-
duction takes place entirely within the capitalist modal framework. He holds this view
based on grounds of mutual interdependence and a premise of evolution from peasant
to capital through the means of gradual subsumption. Though I am endorsing the use of
his concepts here, I am doing so with some key qualifications and mindful precautions.
Most notably, I have chosen to use the phrase "formalised and partial contact" rather
than Alavi's "entirely within the capitalist framework" to capture the relationship be-
tween peasant modes and capitalist modes, it also denotes a reservation of acclaimed
totality on the basis of moral and cultural differentiation - values which I argue equally
predicate the capitalist mode of production. In this way, the notion peasant retains its
political, economic and moral form - forms that are permissible under an articulation
As a further means of reinforcement one might also consider Alavi's adaptation of
Marx's "formal subsumption under labour." With this reservation in mind, Alavi's ad-
aptation of Marx's concept "formal subsumption of labour under capital" allows rec-
ognition of capitalist pressures on labour processes, whilst simultaneously not conced-
ing a "real subsumption of labour" and thus an incomplete separation from an agrar-
ian or non peasant mode of production."
On this basis I would also push to include what Shanin describes as "analytical
marginal" groups, although these tend to form the very basis for their dismissal. These
include four types:
1. Agrarian households with a rural-urban division of labour. Where the house-
hold unit derives economic resources from both the local household economy
and from wage labour arrangements.
2. Populations involved in the direct use of natural resources whereby their mar-
ginality disposes them, in large part, to subsistence and small-scale commod-
ity production. Unlike Shanin who extends this to include capitalist family
fanners, it is argued here that the principle of marginality diminishes the fur-
ther this unit moves away from this definition.
3. Village-less peasants - peasant units and networks that endure migration pro-
cesses or exist at the fringes of urban development.
4. Mobile Cultivators - Peasant groups under (partial) regulation by global mar-
kets and state bureaucratic pressures. Eg. Swidden agriculturalists and other
shift cultivators."
These groupings might also have the support of Raymond Firth, where he indicates
that the term "peasant" can usefully include non-cultivators, "if they are part of the
same social system.. .If the concept "peasant" be viewed as indicating a set of structural
or social relationships rather than a technological category of persons engaged in the
same employment, then this unconventional inclusive usage seems justified.""
In relation to these groupings Shanin adds that "analytical typologies are at times
382 JCA 35:3

regarded statically.. .like every social entity, peasants in fact exist only as a process,"'*
Stating that peasants in fact exist in a process, and as Shanin himself states later, this
process need not be causal to a denial of history per se needs some clarity.
Aside from the dilemma of identifying a peasant system amongst other systems -
that is capital, there exists the additional dilemma of asserting this system in a localised
and meaningful form. Norman Long's case study of petty commodity production and
labour processes asserts the need to mediate "structure" and "agency" using
intermediators such as networks.^^ From his case study of peasant villages in highland
Peru. Long demonstrates the often proactive strategies undertaken by individuals and
household members in response to state regulation and encroaching intemational mar-
ket place under the auspice of multinationals. Thus, while we discuss rural decline, or
economic stagnation in the countryside, it is imperative that we scale varying levels of
analysis where the phenomena of conflict, poverty, exploitation, or migration are ar-
ticulated. In the end, structural adjustments lending to migration, impoverishment, or
social disruption always fmd their expression in localised units such as individuals and
households. These are the basic tenants of a peasant economy.

Hence we are able to deduce that while the term "peasant" may be expressed individu-
ally, its basic economic unit and gateway to the wider social body is expressed in house-
holds. This unit slots into wider society utilising networks that are multi-functional, that
is, they serve social, political and economic functions. In addition this unit is marked by
its close proximity to primary resources, either in the sense of subsistence production or
in the types of wage labour undertaken. Though the "peasant" inevitably crosses sev-
eral significant margins (rurallurban - subsistencelsurplus - agriculturallindustrial), the
peasant household engages in economic transactions for the main purpose of securing a
level of subsistence, and hence trades in and for commodities - often within the frame-
work of the market economy. Thus, subsistence is designed to satisfy short-term and
localised needs and not as a means of capital accumulation, though it may indirectly
contribute to this process. Furthermore, it is not worthwhile trying to get to an all pur-
pose definition that provides fixed analytical or quantitative boundaries. The point is
the concept "peasant," if it is to be useful, need be contextually defined in order to be
sensitive to local situations and not to obscure non-capitalist entities into essentialist or
dualistic frameworks, such as agency-structure, west-rest, self-other, capitalist-non-capi-
talist etc. The localising of these concepts largely rests on the ability to historically and
individually extrapolate the relative social and moral virtues of each economic struc-
Though this article has been particularly harsh with several aspects of the post-
modern approach there is sympathy with its deconstructionist methodology and the
measured re-'m\io6\ic\\on of agency. Often, however this style of analysis goes too far
and leaves us with nothing to work with. It is a contention of this article that "peasant"
and 'peasantry" are still useful concepts given the rejection of an essentialist global
Peasant 383

capitalist totality. While it is possible to talk about global capitalism in all its manifes-
tations, there remains the need to account for the unevenness of its expansion as well as
the variations in its expression at the local level. Peasant, albeit reconceptualised, is one
means that will enable us to do this.
1, Firth, R "Capital, Savings and Credit in Peasant Societies: A Viewpoint from Economic Anthropology,"
p 17 in Capital, Savings and Credit in Peasant Societies; Studies from Asia, Oceania, The Caribbean and
Middle America, eds Firth, R and Yamey, B, George Allen and Unwin Ltd, London,.
2, This discussion focuses primarily on the literature of the mid-to-late l990's where the above mentioned
effects have become most pronounced.
3, For example see Thomer, D. (1971) Peasant Economy as a Category in Economic History in Shanin, T.
ed. Peasants and Peasant Societies, Penguin Books Ltd, London, Scott, J. (1976) The Moral Economy
of the Peasant: Rebellion and Subsistence in Southeast Asia. Yale tjniversity Press, New Haven.
Meillassoux, C, (1973) The Social Organisation of the Peasantry: The Econoniic Basis of Kinship.
Joumal of Peasant Studies. 1(1), Paige, J, (1975) Agrarian Revolution: Socifd Movements and Export
Agriculture in the Underdeveloped World, The Free Press, New York
4, See for example Tanabe, S, (1984) Ideological Practice in Peasant Rebellions: Siam at the Tum of the
Twentieth Century, in Tanabe, S, and Turtonv A,ds, History and Peasant Consciousness in Southeast
Asia. National Museum of Ethnology, Osaka.
5, Stocking, G, (1987), Victorian Anthropology. New York, Free Press,
6, See for example, Malinowski, B (1921). The Primitive Economics of the Trobriand Islanders. Eco-
nomic Joumal, 31:1-16, Sahlins, M. (1968). Tribesmen, New Jersey, Prentice - Hall Inc, Sahlins, M.
(1974), Stone Age Economics, London, Tavistock Publications, Levi-Strauss, C, (1963), Structural An-
thropology, New York, Basic Books Inc, Radcliffe-Brown, A, and, Forde, D, (eds), (1950). African
Systems of Kinship and Marriage. London, Oxford University Press, Evans-Pritchard, E, (1940). The
Nuer: A description of the modes of livelihood and political institutions of a Nilotic people. Oxford,
Oxford University Press,
7, See Parsons, T, (1951), The Social System, Glencoe, IL, Free Press ; Parsons, T, and Shils, E, (1951),
Toward a General Theory of Action, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press; Rostow, W, (I960)
The Stages of Growth: A Non-communist Manifesto. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press,
8, Belshaw suggests that a shift from earlier forms such as "folk" and "primitive" often transmit into
studies that consider the term "peasant" inrelationto these earlier forms, Belshaw is adamant that the
"classifications are not equivalents," and hence wams against such formulations. See Belshaw (1965)
Traditional Exchange and Modem Markets, Prentice-Hall. New Jersey, p54,
9, For an unsympathetic view see Weitz, R, (1971) From Peasant to Farmer: A Revolutionary Strategy for
Development. Columbia University Press, New York,
10, A primary example is Hindess, B, and Hirst, P (1975) Pre-Capitalist Modes of Production. Routledge &
Kegan Paul, London, For aresponsesee E,P, Thompson's blistering rebuke of Althussarian Marxism in
Thompson. E, (1978) Poverty of Theory & Other Essays, Merlin Press, London, Also see Corrigan. P,
and Sayer, D, (1978) Hindess and Hirst: A Critical Review, The Socialist Register, pp 194-215
11, Elson, R, (1997), The End of the Peasantry in Southeast Asia: A Social and Economic History of Peas-
ant Livelihood, 1800-1990s, Great Britian, The Macmillan Press Ltd,, pp 35-78, 238
12, Siriprachai, S, (1996). Population Growth, Fertility Decline, Poverty and Deforestation in Thailand,
1850-1990,, in Gunnarsson. C, and Hoadley, M, eds. The Village Concept in the Transformation of
Rural Southeast Asia, Curzon Press Ltd, Surrey, pplO7-IO8
13, It should be noted that there are different degrees of totalisation in Elson and Siriprachai's account of
peasants under globalisation. The main points of differentiation are that Siriprachai distinguishes the
level of penetration of globalisation into the peasantry, while Elson argues that globalisation has entered
into every facet of peasant life and social exchange, thus the theoretical category "peasant" is no longer
applicable to this group.
384 JCA 35:3

14, Undertaking a quantitative analysis of data on foreign direct investment, exports, intemational finance,
and intemational production across historical periods, Sutcliffe and Glyn argue that the main indices of
globalisation global production and profit were exaggerated; confirming their assumption that
economic trends are and have often been overstated see Sutcliffe. B, and Glyn. A, (1999), "Still
Underwhelmed: Indicators of Globalization and Their Misinterpretation," The Review of Radical Po-
litical Economics, pp 113-118, See also Petras, J, (1999) Globalization: A Critical Analysis, Joumal of
Contemporary Asia, 29( I) 3-37
15, Schumpeter J, (1947) Capitalism. Socialism, and Democracy. London, George Allen & Unwin Ltd,
16, Heilbroner (1976) The Economic Laws of Motion of Capitalist Society, Readings in Political Economy.
F. Stilwell & Wheelwright, E, Sydney, Australia and New Zealand Book Company. Volume 1
17, On the dependant relationship between capitalist and non-capitalist modes Roberts, B, (1978) Cities of
Peasants: The Political Economy of Urbanisation in the Third World, Edward Amold Ltd, London,
ppl6-I7, See also Frank, A, (1971) Capitalism and Underdevelopment in Latin America: Historical
Studies of Chile and Brazil, Penguin, Harmonsworth, For a response see Laclau, E, (1977) Politics and
Ideology in Marxist Theory. Capitalism, Fascism, Populism, New Left Books, London,
18, Indeed there is not a single cominentator that has conceded that the process of "globalisation" is com-
19, Woods, E.M, (1996) Modemity, postmodemity, or capitalism? Monthly Review, Jul/Aug Vol. 48, Issue
3, pp2l-40. See also, Sivanandan, A, and Wood, E.M, (1997) Capitalism, Globalisations, and Epochal
Shifts: An Exchange, Monthly Review. Feb Vol 48 Issue 9, pl9-33
20, He is inserting yet another binary in that he is distinguishing between a post-modem peasant and a
modem one,
21, Cook, S, (1997) Reconceptualising the Peasantry: Anthropology in Globalist Perspective, (Book Re-
view). Joumal of the Royal Anthropological Institute, December, Vol 3, No. 4, pp789-91,
22, Keamey, M, (1996), Reconceptualiiing the Peasantry: Anthropology in Global Perspective, Colorado,
Westview Press, p63
23, Keamey, M, (1996). Reconceptualizing the Peasantry, p 115,
24, Ibid, ppi61-63,
25, Keamy M, (1984) World View, Chandler & Sharp Publishers, Inc. Califomia, pl88.
26, Ibid,
27, Keamey, M, (1996),Reconceptualizing the Peasantry, pi 39,
28, Ibid, pp64-69
29, For example see Conell, R, (1987). Gender and Power. Sydney, Allen & Unwin, Gatens, M. (1983). A
Critique of the Sex/gender Distinction, Beyond Marxism, Allen, J and Patton, P, Sydney, Intervention
Publishers, Gatne, A, (1991). Undoing the Social: Towards a Deconstmctive Sociology, Toronto, Uni-
versity of Toronto Press, Martin, S, (1993), "White Coffee: Colonial Discourse in Postcolonial Austra-
lian Advertising," Meanjin 52: 509-17,
30, Keamey (1996) Reconceptualizing the Peasantry, pI18,
31, Ibid, pp 124-125,
32, Keamey (1996) Reconceptualizing the Peasantry , pl64,
33, Harvey (1989) cited in Edelman (2000) Peasants Against Globalization: Rural Social Movements in
Costa Rica, Stanford University Press, California, p 18
34, Edelman, M, (1998) Transnational Peasant Politics in Central America, Latin American Research Re-
view, Vol 33, Issue 3, pp49-87,
35, Shanin, T, (1990) Defining Peasants: Essays Conceming Rural Societies, Exploring Economies, and
Leaming from them in the Contemporary World, London, Basil Blackwell, pp69 cited in Edieman, M,
(1998) Transnational Peasant Politics in Central America, Latin American Research Review, Vol 33, Iss
36, Brass, T, (2000), Peasants, Populism and Postmodemism: The Retum of the Agrarian Myth, London,
Frank Cass Publishers, p203,
37, Djurfeldt, G, (1999), "Essentially Non-Peasant? Some Critical Comments on Post-Modemist Discourse
on the Peasantry," Sociologia Ruralis, p207-208.
Peasant 385

38. Otero, G. (2000) Neoliberal Reforrn in Rural Mexico: Social Structural and Political Dimensions. Latin
American Research Review, Vol 35. Issue I.
39. Ibid and de Janvry. A., Gordillo, G.. Sadoulet, E. (1997) Mexico's second agrarian reform: Household
and Community Responses. Centre for U.S - Mexican Studies, University of California, San Diego.
40. Keamey, M. (1996). Reconceptualizing the Peasantry, p30.
41. Ibid, p29.
42. Brass, T. (2000). Peasants, Populism and Postmodernism, p6.
43. Djurfeldt, G. (1999). "Essentially Non-Peasant? Some Critical Comments on Post-Modemist Discourse
on the Peasantry." Sociologia Ruralis, p206.
44. Brass, T. (2000). Peasants, Populism and Postmodernism, pp203-211.
45. Lindholm,C. (1997) Logical and moral dilemmas of postmodernism. Joumal of the Royal Anthropo-
logical Institute. 3 (4), pp749-752.
46. Ibid, p752.
47. Eagleton, T. (1996), The Illusions of Postmodemism. Blackwell Publishers Ltd, UK, p31.
48. Ibid. See also Negrin, L. (1991) Post-histoire: A comparative analysis of decandentism and
postmodemism. Philosophy & Social Criticism. 17(4).
49. Alavi, H. (1988) "Peasantry and Capitalism: A Marxist Discourse" in Peasants and Peasant Societies.
Shanin, T (ed). Penguin Books. London, pi90.
50. For a similar approach see Davidson, A (1989) Mode of Production: Impasse or Passe?, Joumal of
Contemporary Asia, 19 (3): 243-278.
51. Sick, D. (1999) Farmers of the Golden Bean: Costa Rican Households and the Global Coffee Economy.
Northem Illinois University Press. Illinois, pi20
52. Kitching, G. (1998) The Revenge of the Peasant? The Collapse of Large-Scale Russian Agriculture and
the Role of the Peasant Private Plot in that Collapse, 1991 -97. Joumal of Peasant Studies. 26( 1), pp53-
53. Ibid, p68.
54. This approach might also be useful if one were interested in examining peasant-socialist contact.
55. Alavi, H. (1988) "Peasantry and Capitalism: A Marxist Discourse" in Peasants and Peasant Societies.
Shanin, T. (ed). Penguin Books. London., pl93 and Marx, K. (1976). Capital, Vol 1., Pelican Marx
Library. London, pi 023.
56. Shanin, T.(ed) (1988) "Peasantry as a Concept" in Peasants and Peasant Societies. Penguin Books.
London, pp5-6.
57. Firth, R. "Capital, Savings and Credit in Peasant Societies: A Viewpoint from Economic Anthropol-
ogy," pi 8.
58. Shanin, T.(ed) (1988) "Peasantry as a Concept" in Peasants and Peasant Societies. Penguin Books.
London, pp5-6.
59. Long, N. (1986). The Social Reproduction of Petty Commodity Enterprise in Central Peru. The
Commodiiation Debate; Labour Process, Strategy and Social Network. N. Long, Van Der Ploeg, J ,
Curtin, C and Box, L. Wegeningan, Agricultural University Press,